World Environment Day: How you can #BeatPlasticPollution

It's World Environment Day, and each year the focus shifts to one "particularly pressing environmental concern". This year it's beating plastic pollution - so here's some tips to kick it!

If you can't reuse it, refuse it.

Easier said than done. 

But each small shift can make a big difference - the biggest I've seen is the domino effect not only in my own life but in the lives of those around me, simply through living my values, by example.

This year's World Environment Day catch phrase is, "If you can't reuse it, refuse it", in a bid to get us all to avoid single-use plastic that somehow, no matter how diligent we are putting things in bins, recycling, and banning things, ends up in the environment around us.

Here are the best ways to make simple shifts - and look good doing it.

Make it a habit to carry reusables.

Some of my lightweight, calico shopping bags - the mini ones! 

This can be in your bag, on your bike, in your car's glove box - however it works for you.

Start by chucking in a lightweight reusable shopping bag and a refillable drink bottle - I use an insulated metal one and it's my best buddy. It keeps my water cold-cold for 12 hours, even in the heat of summer sitting on the beach. 

Even if you don't drink coffee, reusable cups can be your BFF.

I've used mine - particularly when travelling - for:
  • Coffee and alllll the hot beverages - including the inflight service (the flight staff will take the cup and fill it for you!) 
  • Cold drinks
  • Icecream
  • Snacks 
  • Leftovers
  • Compost scraps, things like banana peels and apple cores 

Minimise the products in your life.

Save money (and plastic) doing it!

My selection from Biome's new range of natural, simple skin care -
designed to be mixed together or used alone. Ah, versatility.

It's amazing how little we actually need, especially when it comes to the bathroom cupboard and cleaning stuff.

Try making your own moisturiser (like I did here!), deodorant (another stupidly simple recipe here!) or just switching to an oil blend that works for your skin, hair, nails, DIY products, even cooking...

And where you can, go package-free completely, like soap and shampoo bars.

Soon I'll be sharing how I minimised my bathroom essentials, including some of the pure, simple ingredients from Biome and their new range of skin care. They offer so many natural DIY mix-n-match ingredients in glass containers, and if you're local you can refill yourself! 

I'll also share my experience switching to an all-metal, no-plastic safety razor (wish me luck!).

Less stuff means less cleaning up after it, less clutter, more head space and more time to focus on what you feel like doing. And in the process, you're reducing our reliance on single-use plastic.

And when you're done with the packaging you're finishing up, send it off to TerraCycle for recycling as part of their beauty packaging program!

Used plastic packaging ready to go to TerraCycle to be recycled!

Choose secondhand first.

Make this the default when you need something - but just give yourself a little extra time to find it. Everyone has their personal boundaries when it comes to secondhand, so I'll just leave that up to you to determine..!

Me in my secondhand Gorman, scored at a market!

Buying secondhand not only means we're extending the life of something already around, but we're cutting down the often-plastic packaging that comes with buying something new.

The best ways to score secondhand:

  • Jump online: You can pretty well find ANYTHING on secondhand marketplaces like eBay, Gumtree, Craig's List. Online is great for the time-poor, and you can choose whether you want something shipped or to pick up locally.
  • Op shops: The next best thing if you know what you're after. Especially good for clothes, but also furniture, kitchen stuff, linen and sporting gear.
  • Markets: Check your local city or town for wardrobe pop-up markets.
  • Your sister's wardrobe. Oh did I say that out loud?
  • Someone else's wardrobe/ kitchen/ house/ shed: There are more wardrobe-sharing platforms popping up all the time so no excuse not to raid. And why not just ask a friend or family member if you can borrow something? I am almost certain they will say yes!
These ideas are pretty simple - and they're certainly not new! - but are some of the best ways to make positive changes to your habits and help #BeatPlasticPollution well beyond World Environment Day.

I'd love to hear the changes you make! What has been the easiest for you?

-  Ash

Header image and gorgeous handmade ceramic cups by Es Ceramics


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